IPRGuard - die modulare und innovative Lösung für das Brand-Monitoring und die IN USE Überwachung von Intellectual Property Rights
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21.05.2008
Der MARKENTICKER Ausgabe #238 more
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Premises

The internet is still growing at an extremely fast pace. It has 500 million users worldwide and approximately 45 million domains are registered. The introduction of the new TLD- Domain .cn for China shows that very dynamic regions for internet business are just being opened. A tremendous increase in the number of users, domains and internet pages can be expected.

Development of hosts worldwide

The number of hosts indicates that the number of servers linked to the internet is rising continuously. Due to so-called dynamic pages, those whose contents are generated from databases, the actual number of internet pages can only be estimated, and this number ranges between 6 and 8 billion.

More relevant than the actual number of web pages, is the continual fluctuation and change of content in them. Along with the quantitative and qualitative growth of the internet, infringements against IPR are also increasing, along with the need for continuous and precise “in use” monitoring.

The internet, while serving as a global market place, is also an important platform for product and brand piracy and counterfeiting, and a medium for misuse of brands, products and copyrights. The unauthorized copying of products and brands is always linked to the unauthorized use of brands and logos.

The internet contributes to this kind of crime against intellectual property, as it allows logos, pictures and texts to be easily copied.

According to current estimates of the DIHK (German chamber of industry and commerce), product and brand counterfeiting causes, every year, economic losses totaling approximately 29 billion Euro. More than 70,000 jobs have been destroyed in the last few years, due to this form of economic crime. Brands and images, as well as the company name are substantial components of what constitutes the entire enterprise value.

Brands that are globally known have an added value of billions of dollars. An erosion of these assets by defaming, boycott pages, rumors, fraud and slander can produce direct effects on the company value. In a time of increasing conflicts concerning Intellectual Property Rights, especially in regard to the new media, the importance of precise monitoring tools, which react with innovative technologies to this new forms of crime, is growing on a daily basis.


Case Studies

Through domain grabbing, cyber squatting and typo squatting, well known names are registered as domains or “typodomains” without authorization. These domains spread defamation, competing contents or are offered for sale.

By the listing of well known names into the Metatags of a page, users end up accessing pages that are linked with brand counterfeiting, pornography etc. This kind of infringement, called traffic diversion, is even more effective when invisible terms are hidden on pages, providing brand pirates with an improved search engine ranking.

By frame linking, cloaking (linking of a page without address line in the Browser) and cloning of pages (producing identical or nearly identical pages), collaboration and references can be simulated, making it possible to offer counterfeited products and brands for sale, in an apparently authentic environment.

Besides the unauthorized use of products and brands, IPRG also detects any rumors that are being spread that could, for example, affect share values, web pages encouraging political or religiously motivated boycotts, web pages that attempt to offend or insult, or web pages whose contents could be considered fraudulent. The observance of copyrights during the retrieval of music, pictures, films and texts is a further field of deployment.

These kind of crimes can cause both direct and indirect damage. Examples of direct damage could include income losses caused by the lost benefits of licensing or product sales. Examples of indirect damage include serious loss of faith in the brand image caused by the low quality of counterfeited products, and rumors being spread.

Since these damages can only be valued and adjusted in a few cases, an early and comprehensive detection of these crimes is vital. Because of this, IPRG has been developed for continuous monitoring.

Conflict management and watching is used during, or after, a litigation or the application of judgements. The guidelines of Corporate Design and Corporate Image for brand management must be continually supervised both internally (on the company’s own pages) and externally (with licensees, collaborating and sales partners).

Certain brand projects, such as the renaming of an enterprise (e.g. Fusion) or a brand release (revision of the logo), must be administered for a certain period of time. The development of a brand's high profile has to be administered in order to draw conclusions for marketing purposes.


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